When is a Price Change Unethical? - METRO MLS Blog

Recently, Metro MLS has received requests to change the price of properties after the seller accepts an offer. Rarely is a change to the list price allowed once a property is under contract. To change the list price after a property has an accepted offer is unethical and could lead to the manipulation of historical data.

This practice of altering a property’s list price after it is under contract to obtain a more desirable result for the buyer and seller could violate the standards outlined in the REALTORS® Code of Ethics. Article 2 of the Code of Ethics states:

“REALTORS® shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction.”

Appraisers look at comps. REALTORS® factor the market condition. Determining the list price is a science, and setting a fair, honest price right away is important.

A seller cannot authorize a REALTOR® to amend the price after the property is under contract. It is the responsibility of the REALTOR® to counsel their client(s) on why a price change may be necessary and when a price change can occur while a property is an active listing.

If the seller receives an offer with a bump clause but keeps the property in “Active” status, the seller can change the list price. But if the property status is “Active with Offer” or “Pending” with a bump clause, the seller should not change the list price.

An appraiser cannot dictate or instruct a REALTOR® to change the property’s price to reflect the market value after there is an accepted offer. REALTORS®, who feel pressured to change a property’s list price after an accepted offer, should inform Metro MLS of the appraiser committing these violations.

Metro MLS prides itself on offering accurate data to assist REALTORS® and effectively enhance fair housing for individuals. Appraisers that urge REALTORS® to commit violations that manipulate the historical information of a property will be subject to a review board.